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Plant Mol Biol. 1996 Mar;30(6):1099-113.

High-resolution mapping of repetitive DNA by in situ hybridization: molecular and chromosomal features of prominent dispersed and discretely localized DNA families from the wild beet species Beta procumbens.

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Department of Cell Biology, John Innes Centre, Colney, Norwich, UK.


Members of three prominent DNA families of Beta procumbens have been isolated as Sau3A repeats. Two families consisting of repeats of about 158 bp and 312 bp are organized as satellite DNAs (Sau3A satellites I and II), whereas the third family with a repeat length of 202 bp is interspersed throughout the genome. Multi-colour flourescence in situ hybridization was used for physical mapping of the DNA families, and has shown that these tandemly organized families occur in large heterochromatic and DAPI positive blocks. The Sau3A satellite I hybridized exclusively around or near the centromeres of 10, 11 or 12 chromosomes. The Sau3A satellite family I showed high intraspecific variability and high-resolution physical mapping was performed on pachytene chromosomes using differentially labelled repeats. The physical order of satellite subfamily arrays along a chromosome was visualized and provided evidence that large arrays of plant satellite repeats are not contiguous and consist of distinct subfamily domains. Re-hybridization of a heterologous rRNA probe to mitotic metaphase chromosomes revealed that the 18S-5.8S-25S rRNA genes are located at subterminal position on one chromosome pair missing repeat clusters of the Sau3A satellite family I. It is known that arrays of Sau3A satellite I repeats are tightly linked to a nematode (Heterodera schachtii) resistance gene and our results show that the gene might be located close to the centromere. Large arrays of the Sau3A satellite II were found in centromeric regions of 16 chromosomes and, in addition, a considerable interspersion of repeats over all chromosomes was observed. The family of interspersed 202 bp repeats is uniformly distributed over all chromosomes and largely excluded from the rRNA gene cluster but shows local amplification in some regions. Southern hybridization has shown that all three families are specific for genomes of the section Procumbentes of the genus Beta.

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